Oz break 10-year hoodoo

Quade Cooper (Gallo)
Quade Cooper (Gallo)
Brisbane - The Wallabies downed the All Blacks 25-20 to claim their first Tri-Nations crown in 10 years at Suncorp Stadium on Saturday.

Australia gave their hopes of a third Rugby World Cup success in New Zealand next month a major boost, with a spirited three tries to two victory after leading 20-3 at half-time.

The Wallabies have not lifted the southern hemisphere crown since John Eales's team won in 2001.

The Australians showed great resolve in a pulsating second half as the world number one ranked All Blacks stormed back to draw level with 20 minutes left.

But the Wallabies, led by lock James Horwill for the first time, fought back and claimed victory with a 61st-minute try by fullback Kurtley Beale.

The Wallabies lost their chance to win this year's Bledisloe Cup when holders New Zealand comprehensively beat them 30-14 in Auckland three weeks ago.

But it was Australia's second win over the All Blacks in their last three meetings after they defeated Graham Henry's team 26-24 in Hong Kong last October.

It was the Wallabies' first victory over the All Blacks in Brisbane for 19 years.

The Wallabies began furiously, putting the All Blacks under pressure with a swarming defence, and had a couple of early chances before Quade Cooper kicked a third-minute penalty.

Right-wing Adam Ashley-Cooper was over the New Zealand try-line but was hauled back by Piri Weepu and Mils Muliaina.

The Wallabies' ferocity was taking its toll on the All Blacks, with number eight Kieran Read replaced with a left ankle injury while skipper Richie McCaw played on after treatment to his lower back.

The Australians were rewarded for their territorial domination when scrumhalf Will Genia darted through an opening to score the opening try in the 13th minute.

Centre Anthony Fainga'a pulled off a try-saving tackle on Muliaina before Dan Carter kicked the All Blacks' first points with a 24th-minute penalty.

Ma'a Nonu was penalised for making a tackle without the ball giving Cooper an easy penalty kick and a minute later number eight Radike Samo, the oldest Wallaby player at 35, raced 60m to score an astonishing try after David Pocock stole the ball in his half.

Samo's try was converted by Cooper giving the Wallabies a 20-3 lead after 34 minutes.

New Zealand's problems were compounded further when flank Adam Thomson came off just before half-time with an apparent shoulder injury for Ali Williams.

Carter kicked his second penalty seven minutes after the resumption as the All Blacks employed more disciplined ball retention and phases to wear down the Wallabies.

The All Blacks controlled the ball through 27 phases before Keven Mealamu and Carter combined to send centre Conrad Smith racing over for their first try in the 52nd minute, which Carter converted.

New Zealand drew level on 59 minutes when Nonu was involved twice before scoring off Smith's pass.

But the Wallabies hit back minutes later when Genia dummied into the clear and combined with winger Digby Ioane for Beale to score in the left corner to retrieve the lead 25-20.

Cooper had the chance to put the Wallabies eight points clear but missed a penalty attempt with eight minutes left.

The Wallabies wound down the clock and held on for a tremendous victory.


Australia: 15 Kurtley Beale, 14 Adam Ashley-Cooper, 13 Anthony Fainga'a, 12 Pat McCabe, 11 Digby Ioane, 10 Quade Cooper, 9 Will Genia, 8 Radike Samo, 7 David Pocock, 6 Rocky Elsom, 5 James Horwill (captain), 4 Dan Vickerman, 3 Ben Alexander, 2 Stephen Moore, 1 Sekope Kepu

Substitutes: 16 Saia Fainga'a, 17 Salesi Ma'afu, 18 Rob Simmons, 19 Ben McCalman, 20 Scott Higginbotham, 21 Luke Burgess, 22 TBC

New Zealand: 15 Mils Muliaina, 14 Cory Jane, 13 Conrad Smith, 12 Ma'a Nonu, 11 Zac Guildford, 10 Dan Carter, 9 Piri Weepu, 8 Kieran Read, 7 Richie McCaw (c), 6 Adam Thomson, 5 Samuel Whitelock, 4 Brad Thorn 3 Owen Franks, 2 Keven Mealamu, 1 Tony Woodcock

Substitutes: 16 Andrew Hore, 17 John Afoa, 18 Ali Williams, 19 Victor Vito, 20 Andy Ellis, 21 Colin Slade, 22 Isaia Toeava

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